Launch of UK Cyber Emergency Team

The body responsible for coordinating national response to cyber-attacks on critical systems will launch this month.

According to the Cabinet Office, the UK Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) will work on developing the UK's cyber resilience to state-sponsored and criminal attacks on critical systems, including those controlling the national energy supply.

The CERT project was announced in December 2012, when the Cabinet office promised to deliver one of the most important parts of its £650m cyber security strategy within 12 months. It was then announced that the project would be pushed back to early 2014, with few reasons given.

Former cyber defence lead at government supplier Quinetiq was made deputy director of operations, and Andrew Whittaker - a former foreign office crisis management expert - was given the role of the overall deputy director.

The former head of the Metropolitan Police Central e-crime Unit Charlie McMurdie, who was involved in the early stages of CERT-UK's development, believes the unit should enhance the response to major attacks being monitored by other incident response teams.

She said: "Those sub-CERTs could be far stronger and far more effective… if you're picking up something in one sector it just doesn't make sense that it is dealt with in isolation within that sector when there are opportunities to engage and utilise skill sets and intelligence elsewhere. You can disseminate intelligence to prevent cross-sector impact."

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